It’s Not Your Fault
Aisha had another nightmare the night before. The lady she sees in the orphanage, it was her mum. It was not a nightmare; it was a memory – a memory that Aisha had allowed herself to forget.
Benny’s judgment was right about her, except, he should not have dismissed it when she first brought it up.
Aisha knew exactly what she had done as a child. Her mum, Eva, did not die of suicide; she was murdered by the Director of the orphanage who was unhappy about her threatening to report the mismanagement of funds to the authority.
‘End it all’ the Director shouts telling his guards to cover up the murder scene. Aisha, who was hiding in a cupboard, witnessed the gruesome murder of her mother. Her throat was slit and there was blood everywhere.
Out of anger, Aisha starts a fire in the Director’s room, which then spread throughout the orphanage – and an eight year old Gabriel was witness to this.
Aisha had never told anyone about her past, and neither has Gabriel, until today.
‘I remember before I was adopted by my father, I grew up in that orphanage that burned down. A girl started a fire and she was never caught. I will look into that case to see if I can find a way to get us out of this mess.’ Alex tells his client who is an arsonist.
Aisha was shocked to hear this. She never thought she would one day be working for the person she helped escape. She helped him because it was not her intention to burn the whole building down. All she wanted was to avenge her mother’s death.
Aisha panicked. If Alex investigates this matter, she would be caught. On one hand, her guilt has been eating her up leading to her attempting suicide two years ago; on the other hand, she has made a live for herself, she is not prepared to lose it all after all these years.
‘Are you the Aisha, from the orphanage?’ Alex was startled. ‘It’s me, Gabriel. My father changed my name after adopting me. You’ve always looked familiar. Didn’t you…’
Aisha, without uttering a word, grabs her bag and leaves the office. He knows. What if he calls the cops? What do I do? That was when she sends Sofea the text message. She heads home in a rush when she was greeted by Benny and Haikal.
‘Hi Aisha, there was a cold case that came to light recently. We never managed to find out who the arsonist was. The fire department was convinced that the fire started from inside the building, and the police thought the fire was started by the protesters. Turns out, the fire department was right. Does this ring a bell?’ Haikal starts questioning Aisha.
‘I don’t remember much.’ Aisha sticks to the same story she told Benny.
‘We are afraid that your live might be in danger.’ Haikal warns her. ‘I am not sure if you know this, but Gabriel, the other boy who was rescued that night, he is your boss now. His name is Alex.
‘Yeah, I just found out.’ Aisha immediately regrets telling him this.
‘Well, his father called us to tell that someone has threatened to kill his son and “that girl”. We managed to track you with your records from two years ago, which was what lead us to Benny. Can you tell us more from that night to help us trace who this caller is?’ Haikal goes on to explain further.
‘Why would he want me dead? He killed my mother!’ Aisha cries.
‘Aisha, I need you to calm down.’ Benny tries to console her.
‘No, you don’t understand. He escaped that night – the Director, Andrew. He didn’t die…’ Aisha exclaims.
‘Do you think he started the fire?’ Haikal asks.
‘No.’ Aisha shakes her head. ‘The fire, it spread too fast. I don’t know. I was scared. I could only save Gabriel that night, they all died. They died because of me.’ Aisha cries as she hugs Benny.
Benny continues to console her ‘It’s okay, you were only a child. It’s not your fault.’
Alex and Sofea arrive at Aisha’s house. He was worried when she walked out on him. He knew that she had attempted suicide two years ago. He was afraid that he may have triggered something from that night.
‘Hi Gabriel’ Haikal greets Alex.
‘It’s Alex. I am not used to that name anymore. Is everything okay?’ Alex asks out of concern.
‘I’m sorry, Alex. Do you mind if I ask what happened that night of the fire? Do you know who started the fire?’ Haikal proceeds to question Alex.
Aisha looks at Alex in fear. She was afraid that he might remember the incident. He was next to her when she lit that matchstick.
‘I’m sorry. I don’t remember anything from that night. I don’t even remember how I got out of the fire.’ Alex claims.
He was too young. So no one knows it was me. Aisha was relieved. She felt guilt, but she was glad that she did not have to face the law.
Haikal was about to question them further when he gets a phone call from a fellow officer informing him that they caught Andrew below Aisha’s apartment with a gun in his pocket. Haikal rushes out to handle the matter. The rest of them head home soon after.
The entire case was pinned on Andrew. He was charged for the murder of Eva, the orphans, the arson and for the attempted murder of Aisha and Alex.
There’s not much love, not much care, hell if it all ends tonight, no one would even notice, she thought.
She started pacing and went back to that world where she’s loved and accepted.
On this side, she’s an accomplished actress, a singer, or sometimes even a princess. It was beautiful, she thought.
On this side, she has a beautiful girlfriend, a brunette with a pixie cut – the kind you see in movies. In fact, she is a character from the movies. This is perfect, she thought.
On this side, she is a superstar – she has fame, money, a loving family. What more can I ask for, she thought.
Everything that she lacks, she creates. Everything that isn’t, there is in her world.
With a stimulant on one hand, and her head in another, this ends tonight, she whispers.
The guilt of killing those innocent children had consumed her whole life. She thought she could forget everything and live her life, but today was a reminder that this guilt will always haunt her. That little girl in the yellow dress was her.